It was then that she remembered the words her father used to say during dinner.
In Nadia’s past life, she didn’t really listen to it because she thought it was someone else’s business.
If she had known this would be Winterfell’s case, she would have paid more attention to it.
Nadia’s memory was blurry.
“Who is the lady over there?”
One of the men asked when her cough caught his attention.
Now, everyone’s eyes were directed on Nadia.
“From her looks, I think she is someone important…”
“Ah! She is Marchioness Winterfell! I heard that Duke Balazit’s daughter got married and came to the North.”
“Ah, where is my manner..
How could I not recognize you, Madam.”
“My name is Wayne of the Northern Merchants Association.”
“I am Katarina of the Creta Chamber.”
Nadia beckoned the merchants who were eager to greet her to stop.
She didn’t need any introduction.
Then, she asked in a serious tone.
“No need to introduce further, I want to hear more about what you just said.
You want to take Winterfell family’s Windward plains as collateral?”
“Yes, that’s right.
Since we see that you can’t pay us back the huge amount of money.”
In fact, it was not that strange to borrow a lot of money and take collateral in exchange.
Especially if from the debtor with poor land like the Winterfell estate.
The Winterfell would have borrowed money thinking that they would be able to pay off the debt if the expedition ended with victory.
The problem was that they didn’t get much from the Karla’ai expedition.
Nomads like Karla’ai fled to the western plains and burned all the assets they could not take.
Except for stabilizing the western border and raising the status of the empire, it was just a war that brought no benefit or meaning for the Winterfell family.
Anyone would tear up in front of this dark situation.
Nadia once again asked, holding onto her fading spirit.
“I heard earlier that the repayment due date is just around the corner.
When exactly is the repayment date?”
“It’s in three months.”
There was a reason why the butler begged her with ledger and seals.
A groan came out of Nadia’s mouth.
If they paid the debt with the land, it would feel like things got better since the debt was settled in an instant.
But in the long run, this would become a huge disaster.
A great lord without economic power couldn’t become the leader of a territory, no matter how powerful military troops they had.
To maintain their military, they need the help of other territories.
That’s why the North could not unite under a strong leader in the past.
‘If they take away the land, there will be a setback in the plan to ruin my father under the Northern lord at the forefront.
Whatever happens, I have to solve it.’
Nadia looked around at the merchants and opened her mouth.
“I want to ask you something.”
If it is you, we should at least listen to it.”
To be precise, he must have wanted to establish a relationship with Duke Balazit.
It seemed that Nadia’s identity was still a part of the Balazit family in the public eyes, not as the Marchioness of Winterfell.
“Is there anyone of you who could extend the repayment due date?”
However, unlike their crooked motive, no one was willing to listen.
It seemed unexpected that Nadia, the daughter of the Duke, would make such a request.
“Why? Is it too difficult to ask?”
“The Winterfell family is an honorable family.
They never steal the money of innocent civilians.
I swear on my maiden name.”
“B-But, Madam, don’t you have the dowry that you received from the Duke when you got married? We have heard that the amount is quite enormous.
How could you not repay even though you have enough funds to pay us… We hope you understand that it is hard for us too.”
The one who said that was the bloated man who seemed to be the leader of the merchants.
Did Gordon say that his name was Shylock? Nadia looked straight at him and continued.
“As for that money, there is another place to spend it.
It’s not that I won’t pay your money back.
I just need some time to raise the money first.”
“If you don’t mind, may I know what you want to do with the dowry?”
“I’m sorry but I can’t tell you that.”
They didn’t have to ask to know how obvious the noble maiden who grew up like a flower in a greenhouse would spend the dowry for.
‘She is going to buy a bunch of jewelry!’
After living in the splendid Capital and getting married to the lord of a barren land in the North, wouldn’t she feel some sense of loss?
Shylock had seen many examples of such a lady.
Many of them filled their empty hearts with luxuries.
Selling luxury goods to such ladies was one of his main sources of money, so he knew it well.
When that topic came up, Shylock’s face became serious.
It was a face that that could fool anyone who didn’t know the circumstances well.
Nadia continued to speak in a serious tone, knowing that Shylock was laughing out loud in his heart.
“As I said before, I am not forcing you to.
All of you must be merchants who have dealt with Winterfell for a long time.
I heard that the previous Marquis treated merchants generously.
So, for the sake of the past, I’m asking you to do me a favor just once… Is that impossible?”
Some might say that delaying the debt payment due a little wasn’t that difficult.
If Winterfell failed to raise money until the end, wouldn’t it be right to take the land as collateral?
But by then, it was already too late.
The fertile land would have been secured by those who first claimed it.
Delaying the due would put them into a loss–Not delaying it would cost them a fortune.
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